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If you watch Scott Tatum on Instagram and TikTok, you’ll be struck by his message. He’s open, honest and REAL: staring right into your eyes as he gives you his daily “friendly reminder,” which encourages you to know your worth, live your best life, and take care of yourself.
They sound a little like this:
- “You are the CEO of your own life and accountable for everything that goes with that. So hire, fire and promote accordingly.”
- “Great things take time. I’m talking about you, you’re the great thing. Know your worth.”
Scott didn’t plan or expect to be a social media celebrity when he started out as a nomad five years ago: first in a 16-foot trailer, then pickup truck with just a topper, then a Four Wheel Project M pop-up truck camper.
His goal remains simple: to hike, to experience the outdoors, to practice self-worth, and to inspire others to get out into nature and do the same.
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Why Scott First Became a Nomad Five Years Ago
Scott says becoming a nomad was a journey in self-care. It started with going out and hiking on a regular basis. He said hiking is what saved his life.
“When I talk about saving my life, it’s not like I was fixing to go to on a mountain and jump off,” Scott said. “It was about going forward in my life. I had kind of given up on myself and lost any ambition and had to face all the catastrophes I created in my life. I went on a hike one day and I haven’t stopped.”
Once Scott started hiking all the time, he realized he wanted to live outdoors, full-time. So he got rid of his possessions, became a minimalist and started living in his travel trailer.
“The nomad spirit and this lifestyle are all about healing the mind, body, and soul for me,” Scott said.
However, the travel trailer was still too packed full of stuff. Scott wanted to downsize even more and hike the Appalachian Trail. So, after two and a half years, he sold the trailer, pulled the passenger seat out of the truck and started living in his truck while he prepared for his major thru-hike.
Scott went on the Appalachian Trail for 94 days and is now on a two-year commitment to travel around in a Four Wheel Truck Camper.
Scott’s Transition to a Four-Wheel “Project M” Pop-Up Truck Camper
When Scott decided he wanted a more robust topper for his pickup, he started researching the options, from a pickup truck tent to a truck camper. He stumbled upon Four Wheel pop-up truck campers, located in Woodland, California, and talked to the company.
“I liked all the options, the minimalism, the company and how long they’d been in business,” said Scott. “So I settled on the Project M camper.”
At just 400 pounds, The Project M is the lightest weight camper Four Wheel Campers sells. It’s essentially an empty truck camper that can be customized in any way you see fit. It does come with a cab over bed and some options you can add such as solar and roof vents, but the rest is an open slate.
“I’m 6’2″, almost 6’3″, and just the fact that I can pop up the camper, pull the bed out to a King size bed, and be really comfortable,” Scott said.
The Project M truck camper also gives Scott the flexibility to go deeper down dirt roads and into nature to find pristine campsites and hiking trails, something that wasn’t as easy while towing a travel trailer.
As he spends more time on the road, Scott is figuring out exactly how he wants to customize his Project M camper. Right now, he just uses a cooler to get himself through the week and loves to do “tailgate cooking”.
“I’m researching an electric refrigerator, a pullout system for cooking and efficient storage solutions,” Scott said.
How Scott Got Involved in Social Media and Messages for Self-Worth
If you find “ucanoutdoors” on Instagram and Tik Tok, you’ll quickly see that Scott Tatum has half a million followers on each platform. He got on social media in 2010 after his kids urged him to go on Facebook, and it progressed from there. He started out by doing memes of his travel, and around the topics of “self-care” and “self-worth.” It’s something he calls “self-care savage.”
“That you can only be better for others if you are better for yourself,” said Scott.
And since those early days of creating memes, it’s evolved into something different, where he puts up friendly reminders for people every morning.
“You can go through there and look at the hundreds of comments and you can see all the people saying, ‘thank you, you saved my life. I was in a toxic relationship,’ or whatever,” said Scott. “Everything I put up on social media are things I needed to hear, over and over again. It took me a long time to get to the point I’m at now.”
He calls nature, the outdoors, the nomadic lifestyle, and social media his therapy, and he calls it savage because pushing through the roadblocks to come to a place of self-worth requires ferocity.
“A lot of what’s going on in this world today and a lot of what we are, most people have don’t have self-worth, and I’m gonna say it again. Most people do not have self-worth or they have very low self-worth,” he said. “I am fiercely protective of my community and social media, and I just have to keep on going, because I want to help people.”
Scott’s Instagram Reels and TikTok videos are very straightforward. There are no fancy effects or editing. It’s just him, holding his cell phone, talking right into the camera. It’s a slice of authenticity in a world that’s often moving too fast.
Scott’s Advice for Others Thinking of Living the Nomad Life
Scott says everyone is different when it comes to what type of rig they should live in, and you should just do your research and figure out what’s right for you.
“Just do it, pull the trigger and go,” said Scott. “You can take baby steps. Go rent a trailer. Borrow someone from a friend or family member. Go out for a day, drive it around, go reserve a state park where it’s nice and safe and you can camp for the weekend. Try it out, you’ll see if you like it.”
He said you don’t have to do everything at once. You don’t have to sell everything and get rid of your house right away. But once you do make the leap, it’s okay if you have a tough few months at first.
“You will push through those tough times,” he said. “And when you do, you will never be the same again.